Committed With Jo Piazza
Unpacking The Institution Of Marriage
When I learned Committed was a podcast exploring the institution of marriage I became intrigued. Committed being a podcast offering from the acclaimed HowStuffWorks new media group, only further lent to the potential of the show in my eyes.
I am a married man and like the namesake of this podcast series, I am committed to my marriage, wholeheartedly, but it is some of the hardest work I have ever undertaken in my life.
I have gone through therapy and I have daily habits and routines like meditation, to try and put my very best emotional foot forward in our household for the sake of a thriving marriage.
When I heard the trailer and read the description for Committed, I got excited. I thought it could be a podcast to learn from, strengthen resolve, and be comforted by the struggle that all couples go through to make a marriage work.
Right Mission - Wrong Path?
After listening to a few episodes of this new podcast series Committed, I feel like they are on the right mission, but they, unfortunately, veered down the wrong path after episode one to try and accomplish it.
The debut episode was gripping and piqued my interest for the series but I began to lose hope and interest with the two episodes that followed.
Episode two featured a couple with a psychic in the marriage and they also proclaimed to have had connections from multiple past lives spent together.
The whole episode felt a bit gimmicky to me and my ability to relate and connect with the series began to fade. I am open to the notion of people having psychic abilities but the premises put forth on the episode traveled too far outside of the scope from what I feel the core mission of the series should be about.
Episode three featured a marriage with the wife suffering from amnesia. Again, another outlier scenario, if not even extreme, to try and underscore the commitments people make to each other in their marriages.
By the time I got a few minutes into episode three, I simply lost interest. It did not resonate with me nor meet what I had hoped the show to be, which would be an examination of the ways that marriages across main street America can work, fail, sustain, or implode.
The Shared Struggles Of Married Couples
Everyday life presents plenty of challenges across all marriages that are worth exploring. Managing finances, sustaining a connection, supporting careers, prioritizing and instilling values through parenting, are all real-world situations that can introduce stress and strain to a marriage.
Analyzing the institution of marriage does not require illustrations from the extreme to create compelling content or to drive home the purpose of the show.
The most earnest and personally relatable moment for me on the show was sort of a side-story shared in passing. The host Jo Piazza and her husband weave and juxtapose their own marriage in and out of the episodes. It is not prominent nor meant to be a glaring focal point of the show, but they are open and vulnerable when they do share.
At one point, Piazza mentions her husband just got laid off. She shares her fears surrounding this sudden life event and the uncertainty about the many things that begin to surface when suffering through a partner being out of work.
This to me, was the goods. I had been laid off twice during my relationship with my wife and I know the toll and emotional tax that gets paid when dealing with such an upheaval. It was a brief mention by Piazza but a shared point of pain I felt connected to.
Episode One: "We'll Figure It Out"
Up until this point of my review, I had purposely glossed over episode one, beyond briefly noting it was gripping. I wanted to get my constructive critiques out of the way to now acknowledge where Committed struck gold.
Episode one of Committed was exceptional and it made my eyes water with tears at certain points. It featured a young, athletic, professional couple that both suffered traumatic and body altering injuries during the Boston Marathon bombing.
This couple and their story may be worthy of their own limited-run podcast series. There is definitely more depth in their story to explore and I wanted more time with them when the episode ended. They were so impressive and inspiring.
I am aware that their situation, falling victim to a terrorist attack, is clearly way more extreme than having a psychic in the marriage or even a partner with amnesia. This may seem contradictory by me, to gush over the extraordinary nature of the story in episode one, while critiquing episodes two and three.
There was just something wholly relatable about this couple from episode one, though. They drew me in, where the stories from episodes two and three alienated me from the series. It is just something I felt, my emotional gut reactions, in listening to these episodes.
The core mission that Committed set out to achieve was a noble and compelling mission to undertake. I just feel they got off course rather quickly after such a promising start.
In fairness to them, I did bail early during episode three and I never picked back up again with the series. There could be some highly entertaining and fully relatable couples being explored in subsequent episodes, but I am not drawn back to check and see for myself.
I think HowStuffWorks, or perhaps even Committed themselves, should look to the couple from episode one for a more in-depth and exploratory series surrounding their story.
I sat and listened to them, hanging on their words, with such disbelief and sadness on one hand, but such respect and hope for them and the institution of marriage on the other.
Maybe Committed accomplished what they set out to do, after all, they just knocked it out of the park with the very first swing.
Have you been listening to Committed by HowStuffWorks? What is your take on this marriage-focused podcast? Can you relate in your marriage to the stories being offered? Please do leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.